17 new productions generate almost £500,000 in the local economy
One of a number of successes reported to the recent Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee
Members of the council’s EDI committee were last week (Thursday 10th November) updated on the key successes in the council’s work to grow the local economy over the summer months. Among these was the continuing growth of the area’s reputation as a prime filming location, with 17 new productions going ahead across Argyll and Bute in the three months from July to September.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Policy Lead for Sustainable Economic Growth, said:
“The council works closely with filming companies to make it as easy as possible for them to use Argyll and Bute as a stunning backdrop for their films, TV series, music videos and adverts.
“Offering a free, confidential service we match their creative ideas with the appropriate places in our beautiful area. We also provide assistance with the practicalities of filming, from obtaining the necessary permissions to finding accommodation providers.
“There are a range of productions ongoing at any given time. One of the recent highlights includes a six-part ITV drama called Loch Ness. This brought a cast and crew of over 40 into Argyll and Bute for more than two-weeks, bringing short-term benefits to local businesses like restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts, as well as the potential long-term benefits that come with showcasing the area on the world stage.
“In total almost 200 cast and crew filmed in Argyll and Bute for 67 days, boosting the local economy by almost £500,000.”
The committee was also updated on a number of other initiatives including:
Supporting 24 new businesses – ranging from book-keepers to craft collectives – which will support over 20 jobs and boost the local economy to the tune of £750,000
The multi-million pound scheme to upgrade Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall is well underway and new marine tourism facilities in Oban received planning permission, with construction set to begin in the New Year. The transformation of Campbeltown town centre also continues with further work planned, or underway, to renovate key historic buildings.
Roads capital programme
Almost all of the schemes identified in this year’s programme have been completed, improving the road network still further. Argyll and Bute’s is one of the fastest improving road networks in the country, with the council having spent around £30million on upgrades over the past four years
The council’s planning service continues to perform well, approving 97% of planning applications in this period with notable approvals for:
A new whisky distillery and visitor centre was approved on Islay which will create jobs and bring money into the area.
Hundreds of new homes in and around Helensburgh
A new Co-op in Cardross, with the project creating 10-15 full and part-time jobs
Councillor Ellen Morton, Chair of the EDI Committee, said:
“It’s great to see this kind of progress. We are working hard both to support our local businesses and to attract new investors and visitors to the area. These, and the council’s many other growth initiatives, are great news for people living in Argyll and Bute.”